Observational learning and how authors can leverage it to their advantage.

Eric G Reid
3 min readJan 9, 2024

The Deeper Dive into Observational Learning

Observational learning is not just a passive process; it’s an active and deliberate approach to acquiring new skills and knowledge. When applied effectively, it can significantly accelerate your growth as an author and marketer. Here’s a more comprehensive exploration of this powerful learning method:

1. Analyzing Successful Models

When you set out to learn through observation, it’s essential to be analytical. Rather than passively consuming content, critically assess why a particular book marketing campaign or email caught your attention. Look beyond the surface and dissect the elements that contributed to its success.

For instance, if you’re studying a successful email marketing campaign, consider factors such as the subject line’s effectiveness, the content’s engagement level, the call-to-action’s clarity, and the overall tone. By breaking down these elements, you can extract actionable insights to incorporate into your own work.

2. Embracing Diverse Sources

While it’s natural to seek inspiration within your niche, don’t limit yourself to your genre or field. Diversify your sources of observation. Explore books, marketing strategies, and content from various industries and disciplines. Often, the most groundbreaking ideas come from cross-pollination between different domains.

For instance, if you primarily write romance novels, don’t hesitate to learn from successful marketing campaigns in unrelated areas, like tech or fashion. You might discover unique approaches that can set you apart in your genre.

3. Learning from Mistakes

Observational learning isn’t solely about emulating success. It also involves recognizing and learning from mistakes, both your own and others’. When you encounter a marketing strategy or book promotion that falls flat, instead of dismissing it, investigate why it didn’t resonate with you or the target audience.

Mistakes can offer valuable lessons. They highlight what to avoid and where improvements can be made. By dissecting failed attempts, you can gain a deeper understanding of what not to do in your own marketing endeavors.

4. Staying Updated

The world of marketing and publishing is dynamic and ever-changing. To harness the full potential of observational learning, you must stay current. Regularly follow trends, read industry news, and keep an eye on emerging authors and marketers who are making waves.

By staying updated, you not only remain relevant but also have the opportunity to adapt and evolve your strategies in line with the latest developments in the field.

5. Seeking Feedback

Feedback is an integral part of the observational learning process. Encourage peers, beta readers, or fellow authors to provide constructive feedback on your marketing materials, emails, or book promotions. This external perspective can identify blind spots and areas for improvement that you might have missed.

Moreover, actively seek feedback from your target audience. Conduct surveys or engage in direct communication to understand their preferences and pain points. This real-time feedback loop can be invaluable in refining your marketing strategies.

6. Experimentation and Adaptation

Observational learning should not lead to mere replication. It should fuel your creativity and inspire you to experiment with new ideas. Once you’ve absorbed insights from successful models, adapt them to your unique style and brand.

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and try innovative approaches. It’s through experimentation and adaptation that you can discover what truly resonates with your readers and sets you apart in the competitive world of authorship.

In conclusion, observational learning is a multifaceted process that goes beyond passive observation. It involves critical analysis, diversification of sources, learning from mistakes, staying updated, seeking feedback, and continuous experimentation. By embracing this holistic approach, authors can harness the power of observation to elevate their writing, marketing, and overall success in the publishing industry.

Eric G. Reid
Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief Skinny Brown Dog Media





Eric G Reid

I'm Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Skinny Brown Dog Media. My mission: transform aspiring writers into authors, and help them create an impact